From the day she was born, I promised.
“Your sister is tiny now, but she’ll grow fast. Soon, not too long from now, she’ll be able to play with you. She’ll run and jump and share your puzzles and dolls. You’ll see.”
“Really?” My firstborn, then just a couple weeks past her third birthday, gazed in tender awe at her new baby sister, the long-awaited stranger.
“Yes, sweetheart. Someday, she’ll be your best friend.”
Someday. It seemed so far off in those early months when we juggled two different stages under one roof. This one needed macaroni and potty training while the other needed to be held and shushed and fed constantly. Big girl begged for popsicles and library books. Baby girl wailed and blew out diapers and woke every hour.
Nearly three years later, I stand at the kitchen counter mixing cookie dough. My helpers abandon their measuring cups and flee to the table, where a paper bunny craft captures their equal attention. Let’s do it together, I hear one say. Okay! chirps the other.
They giggle. They chatter. They debate the best way to color in the eyes, with purple marker? Blue? I roll buttery oatmeal balls in my fingers and smile.
This is what I waited for.
Since we drove our little one home from the birthing ward—no, even before that—in the hours of tearful prayer for a second child, the months of hoping for those double pink lines. We longed for another blessing to swaddle and love. A companion for our firstborn.
And now here they are.
I love how they love each other.
Oh sure, they squabble sometimes. What siblings don’t? Yet their camaraderie is so bright, so natural, it outshines the bickering. I watch them take turns smearing a glue stick across brown paper, and it occurs to me—these girls were designed for each other.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,” (Psalm 139:13–16).
Our God is flawlessly intentional. My children must have been placed together in our family on purpose. What a tremendous opportunity I have, as their mom, to nurture a relationship that God himself ordained.
Have you ever thought of your kids that way?
It’s why I tell my girls, “We’re a team!” and “God gave us to each other.” I teach them to encourage, not compete. I make them share toys and hold hands after a fight. I sneak M&Ms into their palms when I catch an act of kindness. All for the sake of their solidarity.
In a blur of years to come, I picture my girls whispering secrets across bunk beds long past light out. They’ll borrow each other’s sweaters, drive together to the basketball game, and bawl their eyes out when college takes one away.
I know. Because I have sisters, too.
And one day, when my girls are grown and independent and no longer required to breathe the same air, I pray they will, in fact, choose each other.
As lifelong friends.
Earlier on the morning of our cookie baking/bunny pasting scene, I stood at the bathroom mirror and punched this text message into my phone:
“I just plucked a gray hair from the top of my head.”
Seconds later, my sister replied.
“LOL. I told you it was there.”
Who but a sibling can grow old with you from the start?
Our homes are more than a place where parents raise kids. They’re the place where our kids form a forever bond of their own.
And we get to supply the glue.
Wow. I love being a mom.
P.S. Does it feel like your kids will never get to this point? Have faith, momma..it’s coming. But if you’re concerned your kids are bickering a bit too much, there is something you can do about it NOW! Check out my “Let’s All Get Along: How to Live in Harmony with Siblings” Bible Study. This family study is for kids (and parents) of all ages who struggle to show love to their brothers and sisters the way God intended. This fun Bible study explains why getting along is a much wiser choice than squabbling—and how to do it. Check out the Let’s All Get Along Family Bible Study in my shop to see a complete list of features and to download your very own copy!
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